Everybody likes to feel special sometimes. At Zushi Puzzle (1910 Lombard Street) in the Marina, it’s easy to put together the pieces of an enchanting experience, specially designed for your own tastes. Aside from a solid smattering of fresh seafood and quality ingredients–necessary to any palatable Sushi experience–Zushi Puzzle dazzles diners with a diverse array of constantly changing speciality rolls. Every time I go here I encounter scores of menu items and daily specials that weren’t available the time before. No two experiences will be the same, yet certain go-tos on the menu are always there to fall back on.

Last night I went out with some east coast friends eager to delve into the SF sushi scene they had heard so much about back home. This can be tricky sometimes on a Monday night, when many Japanese restaurants throughout the city close their doors. Not the case at Zushi Puzzle where throngs of diners packed into this small, cozy restaurant–a welcoming retreat from the constant frenzy of Lombard Street. We were lucky to get a table for four at prime time without a reservation.

Some of my favorite items here include the Kobe Beef sushi and the Crab remix roll, made with delicious Alaskan King Crab. The Kobe is unfortunately not being served at the moment, so I had to find some daily specials to take its place on the plate. Easy. So many unique and delectable creations to choose from, the difficult part is determining what NOT to order. I could happily try one of everything without complaint. I suggest you be inventive at Zushi Puzzle. Indulge yourself with new flavors and interesting combinations that can’t be found elsewhere.

The sake menu here is so expansive that they can’t even put it on a list as there would be too much to look at. So instead make a request of hot or cold–and a specific price range–and the waiters will do a good job accomodating your desires. Fresh and inventive food, with great booze and good service is the recipe for a magical evening.

When we got the check, the price was entirely reasonable. Dining with 3 other friends, it came out to $40 a person, including sushi, entrees, and sake. Our unique culinary adventure left us with a special feeling…and a full stomach.